Be EcoChic – New York Fashion Week Spring 2009 Review

At first glance, the American Museum of Natural History was an unusual setting for a high-octane fashion show. But the surrounding artificial fish, whales and water simply illuminated – and fit in perfectly with the theme of – a star-studded Be EcoChic event that took place just before New York Fashion Week Spring 2009 kicked off.

Co-hosted by model and television host Angela Lindvall and Carl Pope, the executive director of the Sierra Club, Be EcoChic featured environmentally-friendly clothing contributed by a number of designers. Lindvall mentioned that the words “crunchy” and “hippies” are typically associated with environmentalists, and the purpose of the show was to debunk that stereotype. She, for example, was wearing what used to be a DKNY evening gown from a couple of seasons ago, but had since been chopped up and fluffed up with tulle, whereas Pope was wearing a Linda Loudermilk seaweed shirt and Loomstate organic cotton pants.

Following a pre-written, rambling dialogue between the two hosts that sort of lost its way, the show began with an assortment of celebrities and environmental spokespersons taking the catwalk. The stylish, flattering looks, which ranged from casual wear to evening gowns, seemed to be perfectly tailored for the celebrity models. Lauren Hutton and Alek Wek drew some of the loudest cheers, with Hutton looking absolutely radiant in Maggie Norris Couture (and dazzling earrings, I must add) and Wek carrying an “eco bag” from her wek1933 handbag line. Tori Praver modeled a gorgeous organic denim evening gown by Edun (the label run by Bono’s wife Ali Hewson) with a slit in the front, and singer Jon McLaughlin, who also wore Edun – organic denim jeans and a striped cotton shirt – capped off the show with a live performance.

A couple of amusing moments in the lighthearted celebration included author Tom Kostigen, who donned a t-shirt that read, “Wear this shirt for 10 years and save 670 pieces of clothing,” and the program listing for actress Alex Meneses, which stated that she wore Charmone “sustainable and cruelty-free shoes.” Tell that to the ant who might happen to be underneath one of those soles!

Photo Gallery

all photos by Bibs Teh / Meniscus Magazine

Video: Runway Highlights

video by Yuan-Kwan Chan / Meniscus Magazine